War is not just another issue in a litany of social problems; it is the dominating issue

In the political tradition I come from, war is not just another political issue in a litany of social problems but it is the dominating issue governing political action because of the extremes of violence & because it profoundly impacts every other struggle, including racist persecution, women’s oppression, social inequality & poverty.

That’s why it’s not clear to me why no active social movement has developed in India against the occupation of Kashmir. There are so many potential allies in the struggle–persecuted Muslims, Dalits, & other oppressed castes, & the working class whose youth make up the occupying army & whose veterans must certainly sustain the same problems US & Israeli veterans do of PTSD, suicide, mental health problems, high levels of violence.

But then I’ve also tried to understand the collapse of the US antiwar movement for over a decade whilst the Pentagon is engaged in war in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, has troops deployed in Africa, Mexico, Central America, & God knows where else, & bankrolls militarism in Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, etc. It doesn’t help that the US antiwar movement is now led by retired military officers & CIA & FBI agents but it also doesn’t help that the international antiwar movement supports Syrian & Russian bombing of civilians. But how did it come to that? How has it fallen so low after the millions around the world who marched against the Vietnam War?

Academics have been pumping out one jeremiad after another for the past few years expressing a dark malaise about the potential for political action. Meanwhile millions around the world have been rebelling & protesting whilst libertarians vilify the revolutions as orchestrated by the CIA & Mossad & mock the protests against Trump & the Muslim ban because protesters haven’t been out protesting for the past 50 years, because they scorn liberals (who have always made up the majority of protesters), or because they’re women haters with contempt for the millions on every continent who marched in the Women’s March.

Something is going on here that needs to be analyzed & of course a jeremiad is just indigestion writ large & by no means the necessary analysis. If we’re going to reverse this situation, we need to come to an understanding of what is going on.